The country is celebrating 'Vijay Diwas' in remembrance of those soldiers who laid down their lives protecting India from the invaders in Kargil, Jammu & Kashmir. On the occasion of the 15th anniversary of Kargil Victory, whole nation is paying tribute to those brave soldiers, who without caring for their lives gave a befitting reply to the enemies. Because of them only, we feel secure and safe in our homes. It's a occasion to acknowledge the sacrifice and valours of those brave soldiers who fought like lions against intruders.
But question is, if we really care for our soldiers then why we haven't at least made war memorial for them?
India is probably the only country in world where there is no war memorials, despite the fact that it has maximum number of war widows estimated at 25,000.
Graphics source: TOI
Right from world war-1 where around 1.1 million Indian soldiers took part and many of them sacrificed their lives to making efforts in liberating Goa, Hyderabad, Indian soldier always contributed a lot. Then Army's role in war with Pakistan (1965, 1971 and 1999) and China (1962) is well known. The Army personnel are always needed in case of internal security threat like at times in Kashmir and in other States. The Army at times has to sacrifice their lives while fighting Maoists in Red Corridors.
Though this time, the Modi Government seems to be more serious on the issue but then why previous Government maintained dithering attitude over the years?
Priority of Modi Government
Paying homage to martyrs of the 1999 war with Pakistan on the occasion of ‘Vijay Diwas' , Defence Minister Arun Jaitley said the Government will soon finalise the site for a "grand" National War Memorial.
"For the war memorial, where names of all those who sacrificed their lives for the country will be written, we feel it is required.
"We feel that at the very site (Princess Park), as it is a very large area or somewhere close in the vicinity, which is the best site available, it is being shortlisted. We will, in a day or two may be visit that site with the chiefs and take an appropriate decision," Minister said.
Taking this issue as a priority, the Modi Government recently announced couple of laudable steps in this direction. Apart from war memorial, Government pronounced to form Military Veterans Commission and One Rank, One Pension (OROP).
The amount of Rs 100 crore was allocated recently in Union Budget for creating a National War Memorial in New Delhi.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his campaign days had emphasised for this national heritage. He even targeted the erstwhile UPA for lackadaisical attitude on the front.
"There is no country in the world where there is not a war memorial. India has fought several wars, thousands of our soldiers have been martyred but there is no memorial to honour their sacrifice. "Should we not remember them? Should not there be a war memorial? I feel some good things have been left for me to do," Modi said while speaking during a speech in Mumbai.
What must be done apart from war memorials?
It's time these soldiers must get their dues, though little we can do from our sides. Along with war memorial, Prime Minister Narendra Modi should also address some other concerns of Army personnels.
There should be a uniform policy of compensation and rehabilitation for gallantry award winners, which at present is varying in different States. Why should it be different in terms of compensation if two soldiers die under exactly the same circumstances?
Then second is, we should have some provision for our soldiers like ‘Military Covenant' in Britain.Though it is informal understanding between country and armed forces but it guarantees the well-being of soldiers and their families in case of any eventuality. The British Government adopted this in the year 2000.
Third, we can also nominate the war veterans to Parliament like cricketers and film stars. These people (war heroes) have seen life to their closest, so understand things in more mature manner than cricketers and film celebrity who rarely make an appearance in Parliament.